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How to do a DNA test at home?

Taking a DNA test provides you with valuable information about your genetics, which means opening a door to know yourself better in order to make decisions that help you optimise your way of life safely and effectively. These genetic tests look for changes in DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) by focusing on genes. Genes are fragments of DNA that [1] contain all the information about the development and functioning of our organism, as well as being responsible for hereditary transmission [2].

Through a DNA test, you can find out important aspects such as how certain drugs affect you, your predisposition to diseases, the origin of your ancestors or what type of nutrition is most suitable for you. You can choose to buy a test that focuses on a single aspect, such as sport or skin, or more comprehensive DNA kits that include several reports.

DNA testing is a simple process. At 24Genetics it is done by taking a saliva sample at home for analysis. 

 

 

Saliva, essential for DNA analysis

The applications of saliva samples range from oncological studies to genetic studies [3], the latter being DNA tests that are being performed more and more frequently in the market.

The use of saliva as a sample for genetic studies is due to its ease of collection. The major advantage is that, unlike blood samples, saliva does not require experienced personnel to obtain it, so it offers the advantage that the user does not need to travel to a centre for collection. Taking a DNA test using saliva is a painless, quick and simple process that can be carried out on people of any age.

At 24 Genetics we give you the possibility to take a saliva DNA test at home. The process is simple: you order the test you want in our online shop and, once you receive it at home, you only have to place a small sample of saliva in the tube, and send it back to our offices to be analyzed. 

 

 

How to do a 24Genetics DNA test at home?

The first step to taking a 24Genetics DNA test at home is to order it online. You choose what you would like us to test your genetics on (from ancestry to personality, health, pharmacogenetics, nutrition, etc.) or whether you would like to receive our seven reports from a single sample.

DNA testing at home 24Genetics

In any case, when you receive the kit at home it is time to do the DNA test. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Open the kit. Inside the kit, the first thing you will find is an instruction manual (number 1 in the kit), together with the form. Fill in the form with your details.
  2. Next, you will need to put on the gloves (number 2 in the kit). It is important that you do not touch surfaces as soon as you put them on, to ensure that the sample is not contaminated.
  3. Next, remove the materials needed to collect the sample (the tube and the collecting funnel). Check that the liquid in the tube is on the 2 ml line.
  4. Screw the collecting funnel onto the tube.
  5. Fill the saliva tube to the 4 ml line (not counting bubbles). We recommend that you have not eaten, drunk, smoked, brushed your teeth or chewed gum in the hour before collecting the saliva sample.
  6. Unscrew the collection funnel and close the tube with its cap.
  7. Stick the barcode stickers referring to your sample on the forms, so that we know who the sample belongs to.
  8. Finally, you will find a plastic envelope to send all the materials (number 4 of the kit) to 24Genetics. Insert the 24Genetics form and the tube containing the sample in this envelope and send it to us so that we can obtain the details of your sample.
  9. Register your kit on the 24Genetics website and wait. In a few weeks you will receive the reports in your email.

 

 

What information can I find out from a home-made DNA sample?

A few weeks after taking the DNA test, the results are displayed in a report, which you will receive in the email address you provided when registering your DNA sample. We recommend that, regardless of the result, you consult your doctor for any decisions regarding lifestyle, medication, diet or similar.

 

Ancestry

The ancestry report indicates where your genetic ancestors have gone back several hundred years. By means of the DNA test we obtain information about the geographical regions in which your ancestors have lived between 25 and 30 generations. To do this, the DNA of your sample is compared with an extensive database with markers from multiple locations, detailing continents, countries, and even regions of origin from more than 1,500 geographical areas.  

 

 

Health

The health reports obtained from DNA profiling, for preventative purposes, provide valuable data that will tell you which aspects of your health you should pay more attention to. This information will come in the form of predisposition to complex diseases and mutations. In any case, obtaining a certain predisposition to a disease after taking a DNA test does not ensure that you will suffer from it, as other aspects such as lifestyle, diet and multiple other factors, known as environmental factors, also play a very important role in our health. 

 

 

Nutrigenetics

The nutrigenetic report provides information on personal predisposition to the effectiveness of one diet or another (Mediterranean, low-fat or low-carbohydrate, etc.). In this way, relevant aspects are known when it comes to configuring our personal nutritional plan, taking into account what our genes tell us, as well as our lifestyle and personal tastes. Relevant aspects are known about metabolism, the predisposition to have high or low levels of vitamins and minerals, or other indicators such as cholesterol and triglycerides… 

 

 

Pharmacogenetics

The main objective of the pharmacogenetic report is to know which medicines are most effective in each individual, as the genetic factor can have a great influence on this aspect. In addition, a pharmacogenetic test can be used to determine the predisposition to suffer adverse effects from a particular drug. Knowing the predisposition, after doing a DNA test, doctors and pharmacists can choose the drugs that are expected to be most effective for the patient, minimising possible side effects and ineffective treatments, and reducing the number of attempts needed to find the ideal drug for each patient.

 

 

Sport

Human performance is due to multiple factors, including inherited genetics. Several studies have analysed the influence of genes on sport [4]. This report provides information on sport profiles (power, endurance, strength, etc.), muscle profiles (muscle performance, regenerative capacity, muscle fatigue, etc.), metabolic profiles (benefits of exercise in different aspects), injury risk and cardiovascular profile. 

 

 

Skin care

The skin care report provides information on aspects related to skin health, possible skin diseases such as acne, varicose veins, and other aspects such as sun sensitivity or photo-ageing. 

 

 

Personality

The results report shows the natural predisposition marked by our genetics to different aspects of talent and personality, such as creativity, skills like spelling or reading comprehension, impulsivity or nocturnality. 

 

 

Bibliography

1. Pruebas genéticas: MedlinePlus. [Internet]. [Cited 2022 Aug 12]. Available from: https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/genetictesting.html 

2. Avellà, M. M. Estudios genéticos. [Internet]. [Cited 2022 Aug 12]. Available from: https://enfermeriaencardiologia.com/wp-content/uploads/electro_11.pdf 

3. Barriga A. G., Hernández S. E. A. Utilidad de las muestras de saliva en el diagnóstico por el laboratorio. (P. 13 – 18); 2016 [Internet]. [Cited 2022 Aug 12]. Available from: https://www.medigraphic.com/pdfs/patol/pt-2016/pt161b.pdf 

4. Lanao, J.E., & Curiel, D.A. Genes relacionados con el rendimiento físico; 2002. [Internet]. [Cited 2022 Aug 12]. Available from: https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Genes-relacionados-con-el-rendimiento-f%C3%ADsico-Lanao-Curiel/9500431f8015f8abc41b1732f4247ee86ab00613 

Written by Noelia Rojo Lobo

Geneticist

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